Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS5745450 A
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 08/801,547
Publication dateApr 28, 1998
Filing dateFeb 18, 1997
Priority dateApr 2, 1993
Fee statusLapsed
Also published asCN1099144A, CN1125444C, CN1450537A, DE69418761D1, DE69418761T2, DE69425385D1, DE69425385T2, EP0618569A1, EP0618569B1, EP0840304A1, EP0840304B1, US5912867
Publication number08801547, 801547, US 5745450 A, US 5745450A, US-A-5745450, US5745450 A, US5745450A
InventorsShunichi Miyazono
Original AssigneeSony Corporation
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Focusing servo system and focus servo acquisition enable with multiple velocity acquisition modes
US 5745450 A
Abstract
A focusing servo system includes an objective lens which is driven to move toward and/or away from a recording medium during focus searching operations. The objective lens is driven at a first relatively high velocity and then switches to a second relatively low velocity based on a focus acquisition enable signal or on an in-focus detection signal. After the focus searching operations, the movement of the objective lens may be servo-controlled.
Images(23)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(4)
What is claimed is:
1. A focusing servo system that executes a focus search procedure in which a light beam projected from an objective lens on to the surface of a disk-shaped recording medium is focused by driving the objective lens in a direction perpendicular to the disk medium surface on the basis of predetermined driving signals to detect an in focus condition, at which point a focusing servo loop is closed to carry out a focusing servo operation to acquire and maintain focus of the light beam on the recording medium, said focusing servo system comprising:
a first focus search drive signal generator which drives the objective lens at a relatively high velocity VH either toward the recording medium surface or away from the recording medium surface for a first high speed search operation;
a second focus search drive signal generator which drives the objective lens at a relatively low velocity VL away from the recording medium surface in a second low speed search operation, where VL <VH ;
a light beam detector for generating a focusing error signal Ef, a sum signal Rf, a focus acquisition enable range detection signal FOK which is on when Rf is above a threshold value, and a zero crossing signal FZC which is pulsed on when Ef equals a reference voltage Vref ; and
a controller supplied with the FOK signal and the FZC signal for engaging the first focus search drive signal generator to perform the first high speed search operation until the FOK signal is detected as being HIGH, then causing the first focus search drive signal generator to drive the objective lens at the velocity VH toward the recording medium surface for a predetermined period of time, then causing the second focus search drive signal generator to perform the second low speed search operation until the controller simultaneously detects that the FOK signal is high and the amplitude of the FZC signal is falling, and then closing the focusing servo loop.
2. The focusing servo system of claim 1, wherein the predetermined time period is 60 msec .
3. A focusing servo method that executes a focus search procedure in which a light beam projected from an objective lens on to the surface of a disk-shaped recording medium is focused by driving the objective lens in a direction perpendicular to the disk medium surface on the basis of predetermined driving signals to detect an in focus condition, at which point a focusing servo loo said focusing servo method comprising the steps of:
a first high speed focus search operation during which the objective lens is driven at a relatively high velocity VH either toward the recording medium surface or away from the recording medium surface;
a second low speed focus search drive operation during which the objective lens is driven at a relatively low velocity VL away from the recording medium surface, where VL <VH ;
detecting a light beam reflected from the recording medium surface and generating therefrom a focussing error signal Ef, a sum signal Rf, a focus acquisition enable range detection signal FOK which is HIGH when Rf is above a threshold value, and a zero crossing signal FZC which is pulsed on when Ef equals a reference voltage Vref ;
performing the first high speed search operation until the FOK signal is detected as being HIGH, then driving the objective lens at the velocity VH toward the recording medium surface for a predetermined period of time, then performing the second low speed search operation until, simultaneously, the FOK signal is HIGH and the amplitude of the FZC signal is falling, and then closing the focusing servo loop.
4. The focusing servo method of claim 3, wherein the predetermined time period is 60 msec.
Description

This is a continuation of application Ser. No. 08/405,504 filed on Mar. 16, 1995, now abandoned, which is a divisional application of application Ser. No. 08/221,892 filed on Mar. 30, 1994.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a focusing servo system and a focusing servo acquisition enable method and, more particularly, to a focusing servo system for an optical recording/reproducing apparatus, and a focusing servo acquisition enable method.

2. Description of the Related Art

In an optical recording apparatus for recording information on a disk-shaped recording medium, such as an optical disk or a magnetooptic disk, or an optical reproducing apparatus for reproducing information recorded on a recording medium, the light beam emitted by an optical head must be focused correctly on the recording surface of the recording disk. Therefore, the optical recording apparatus or the optical reproducing apparatus is provided with a focusing servo system which drives the objective lens of the optical head for movement toward and away from the recording surface of the recording disk. Since a range in which a focusing servo action is possible, i.e., a focus acquisition enable range, is comparatively narrow, the objective lens is moved into the focus acquisition enable range by a focus search operation at the start of recording/reproducing operation or after track access, and then a focusing servo loop is turned on to carry out the focusing servo action. When starting recording operation or reproducing operation, spindle servo action and tracking servo action are executed after a focus search action and a focusing servo action have been executed. After the starting procedure has been completed, the scanning operation of the light beam for recording or reproducing is possible.

During the focus search operation, for example, the objective lens is moved forcibly between a position farthest from the surface of the disk and a position nearest to the surface of the disk, in which a focus error signal EF represented by an S-shaped curve in FIG. 1(b) is obtained by processing the output of the four-division detector of the optical head for detecting reflected light. FIG. 1(a) shows the sum signal, i.e., a signal RF, of the four-division detector. The signal RF is compared with a given threshold Th to obtain a FOK signal as shown in FIG. 1(c), which indicates a focusing servo enable range. After the objective lens is moved into the focus acquisition enable range corresponding to a period H in which the FOK signal is HIGH by the focus search operation, the focusing servo system is actuated for correct focusing control; that is, focusing servo control is executed to adjust the objective lens to the trailing edge of a focus zero crossing detection signal FZC shown in FIG. 1(d) in the focus acquisition enable range.

The focus search operation will be described hereinafter with reference to a flow chart shown in FIG. 2 and waveform diagrams of FIGS. 3(a) to 3(c) showing waveforms in different modes of focus search operation.

Referring to FIG. 2, a focus search operation is started in step F10, the focusing servo system is initialized in a time Δt1 =200 msec, i.e., a period between times T1 and T2 in FIGS. 3(a) to 3(c) , in step F11. In the time Δt1, the rotation speed of the spindle rises and the objective lens is set at an initial position. Then, an initial up-search operation is executed in a time Δt2 =500 msec, i.e., a period between times T2 and T3 in FIGS. 3(a) to 3(c), in step F12 to move the objective lens to a position nearest to the disk in order that a search operation is started from the position nearest to the disk.

After the initializing operations have been completed, an actual search operation, namely, an operation for detecting a focus acquisition enable range, is executed while the objective lens is moved. First a down-search operation, i.e., an operation to move the objective lens away from the disk from the position nearest to the disk, is executed in step F13, in which a search driving voltage is applied to a focusing coil at time T3 (FIGS. 3(a) to 3(c)) for down-search. During the down-search operation, a FOK signal is detected in search of a focus point in step F14. For example, if the FOK signal goes HIGH and a focus acquisition enable range is detected at time T4 (FIG. 3(a)), namely, if the response to a query in step F14 is affirmative, a focusing servo loop for correctly focusing the objective lens is closed in step F16. If the focus acquisition enable range is detected successfully (FIG. 3(a)), the focus search operation is terminated in step F19.

If the focus point could not be detected during down-search operation, the down-search operation is continued until the objective lens reaches the farthest position, and then an up-search operation, i.e., a search operation to move the objective lens from the farthest position toward the disk, is executed; that is, the down-search operation is continued for a predetermined time Δtd (FIG. 3(b)), and then the up-search operation is started (steps F15 and F18). As shown in FIG. 3(b), the up-search operation is performed for a time Δtu between times T5 and T6, in which the objective lens is moved toward the nearest position, and then the down-search operation is started again at time T6 in step F13 to detect the focus point. The flow chart of FIG. 2 shows a procedure by which the focus point cannot be detected by the up-search operation by way of example. FIG. 3(b) shows an operation by which focus acquisition is achieved at time T7 and the focus search operation is terminated (steps F14→F16→F17→F19).

In some cases, as shown in FIG. 3(c), the focusing servo system fails in achieving focus acquisition due to disturbance or the like even if the focus point is detected. FIG. 3(c) shows a case in which a focus acquisition enable operation is started at time T4, but the focusing servo system fails in focus acquisition and the FOK signal goes LOW. Upon the detection of the change of the FOK signal from HIGH to LOW, the focus search operation is started again at time T11 ; that is the procedure returns from step F17 to step F11. Then, the initializing operation is executed between times T11 and T12 in step F11, the initial up-search operation is executed between times T12 and T13 in step F12 and the focus acquisition enable operation is carried out in a down-search mode. For example, the focus-search operation is achieved successfully at time T14 and the focus search operation is terminated.

Incidentally, it is important to complete the the focus search operation quickly. The quick focus search operation reduces the time necessary for starting the optical disk reproducing system and enables the optical disk reproducing system to start the reproducing operation quickly.

An optical disk reproducing system stores data read from a disk temporarily at a high rate in a buffer memory, reads the data at a comparatively low rate from the buffer memory and converts the data read from the buffer memory into audio signals in a predetermined timing so that the reproduced audio signals will not be interrupted even if the pickup head is dislocated from a correct tracking position by vibrations or disturbances. Since the data is stored in the buffer memory, the data accumulated in the buffer memory is read continuously even if the pickup head is dislocated from the correct tracking position and is disabled from reading data from the disk for a certain period of time. Therefore, the reproducing operation can be properly continued if track access operation is carried out and the reproducing operation is restarted before the data accumulated in the buffer memory is exhausted.

If the optical disk reproducing apparatus takes a comparatively long time in completing the starting operation after track access has been achieved, the data accumulated in the buffer memory decreases accordingly. For example, if tracking error occurs repeatedly in a short time, the buffer memory will be exhausted and reproduced sound will be interrupted. Thus, the delay in the starting operation is a significant problem particularly in an automotive optical disk apparatus which is subjected to vibrations.

Accordingly, the reduction of time necessary for starting operation has been an urgent problem and there has been a strong demand for the enhancement of the speed of focus search operation, which is effective in quickly completing the starting operation.

However, the foregoing known focus search operation needs a fixed time before starting the focus acquisition enable operation again after the focus acquisition enable operation has not been achieved as shown in FIG. 3(c). For example, suppose that the initializing period Δt1 =200 msec, the initial up-search period Δt2 =500 msec, the period between T4 to T11 necessary for detecting a failure in the focus acquisition enable operation is 50 msec, and the period from T13 to T14 when the focus acquisition enable range is detected is 450 msec, the focus acquisition enable operation will not be restarted for about 1200 msec after the initial focus acquisition enable operation has resulted in failure. Since such a long time elapses before the focus acquisition enable operation is restarted, the focus search operation will take a very long time and the reproduced sound will be interrupted if a failure in the focus acquisition enable operation occurs several times successively.

The focus search operation may be quickly completed if the search speed, i.e., the moving speed of the objective lens, is increased. However, if the search speed is excessively high, it is impossible to control the position of the objective lens according to the focus acquisition enable range (FOK signal). Therefore, the enhancement of the search speed is limited.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is therefor an object of the present invention to provide a focus servo system which resolves the above-mentioned problem.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a focus acquisition method which resolves the above-mentioned problem.

According to the present invention, there is provided a focus servo system comprising: a signal generating unit, a servo unit, a zero crossing detecting unit, a search signal generating unit, and a control unit. The signal generating unit generates a focus error signal based on the displacement of the recording surface of an optical recording medium in a direction perpendicular to the recording surface through the detection of a light beam projected through an objective lens on the optical recording medium and reflected by the optical recording medium, a read signal on the basis of the reflected light beam, and a focus acquisition enable range detection signal representing a focus acquisition enable range on the basis of the read signal. The servo unit receives the focus error signal from the signal generating unit and executes a focusing servo operation for focusing the objective lens according to the focus error signal. The zero crossing detecting unit receives the focus error signal from the signal generating unit and detects a zero crossing point in the focus error signal. The search signal generating unit generates search signals for driving the objective lens for movement toward and away from the recording surface of the optical recording medium. The control unit receives the focus acquisition enable range detection signal generated by the signal generating unit and the zero crossing point detection signal provided by the zero crossing detecting unit. The control unit gives the search signal generated by the search signal generating unit and the focus error signal generated by the signal generating unit selectively to the servo system. The control unit changes the search signal generated by the search signal generating unit and supplied to the servo unit for the focus error signal generated by the signal generating unit on the basis of the focus acquisition enable range detection signal provided by the signal generating unit and the zero crossing point detection signal provided by the zero crossing detecting unit in a predetermined period after the start of the operation for moving the objective lens from the initial position away from the optical recording medium according to the search signal provided by the search signal generating unit.

According to the present invention, there is provided a focusing servo system including: signal generating unit, a servo unit, a zero crossing detecting unit, a search signal generating unit and a control unit. The signal generating unit provides a focus error signal based on the displacement of the recording surface of an optical recording medium in a direction perpendicular to the recording surface through the detection of a light beam projected through an objective lens on the optical recording medium and reflected by the optical recording medium, a read signal on the basis of the reflected light beam, and a focus acquisition enable range detection signal representing a focus acquisition enable range on the basis of the read signal. The servo unit receives the focus error signal from the signal generating unit and executes a focusing servo operation for focusing the objective lens according to the focus error signal. The zero crossing detecting unit receives the focus error signal from the signal generating unit and detects a zero crossing point in the focus error signal. The search signal generating unit generates search signals for driving the objective lens for movement toward and away from the recording surface of the optical recording medium. The control unit receives the focus acquisition enable range detection signal generated by the signal generating unit and the zero crossing point detection signal provided by the zero crossing detecting unit. The control unit moves the objective lens again away from the optical recording medium when the focus acquisition enable point could not be detected while the objective lens is moved away from the optical recording medium on the basis of the focus acquisition enable range detection signal and the zero-cross point detection signal.

According to the present invention, there is provided a focusing servo system that executes focus search procedure and detects a focus acquisition enable range by varying the position where a light beam for irradiating a disk-shaped recording medium is focused by driving an objective lens for movement according to a predetermined drive signal, and then closes a focusing servo loop to carry out a focusing servo operation. The focusing servo system comprises a first and a second focus search drive signal generating units and a control unit. The first focus search drive signal generating unit generates a first focus search drive signal for driving the objective lens for movement at a high speed in carrying out the focus search procedure. The second focus search drive signal generating unit generates a second focus search drive signal for driving the objective lens for movement at a low speed in carrying out the focus search procedure. The control unit makes the first focus search drive signal generating unit generate the first focus search drive signal from the start of the focus search procedure for a first focus search operation, makes the second focus search drive signal generating unit generate the second focus search drive signal for a second focus search operation from a predetermined point in time on the basis of a focus acquisition enable range detection signal detected in a first focus search period and/or an in-focus detection signal, and carries out a control operation to start a focusing servo operation on the basis of the focus acquisition enable range detection signal and/or the in-focus detection signal.

According to the present invention, there is provided a focus acquisition method comprising: moving an objective lens away from the recording surface of an optical recording medium from its initial position on the basis of a focus search signal; detecting a focus acquisition point on the basis of a zero crossing detection signal provided when the zero crossing point of a focus error signal provided while the objective lens is moved away from the recording surface of the optical recording medium and a signal indicating a focus acquisition enable range; deciding whether or not focus acquisition is achieved successfully on the basis of either the level of the signal indicating the focus acquisition enable range after the detection of the focus acquisition point or a signal read from the optical recording medium; continuously moving the objective lens further away from the recording surface of the optical recording medium when it is decided that the focus acquisition enable operation is unsuccessful.

According to the present invention, there is provided a focus acquisition method comprising: a first focus acquisition step to move an objective lens at a high speed alternately and periodically away from the recording surface of an optical recording medium and toward the recording surface of the optical recording medium; and a second focus acquisition step to move the objective lens at a low speed either away from the recording surface of the optical recording medium or toward the recording surface of the optical recording medium subsequently to the first focus acquisition step. The second focus acquisition step is started upon the coincidence of the level of a signal indicating a focus acquisition enable range with a predetermined level during the first focus acquisition step.

According to the present invention, the focus search operation is not returned to its initial stage and is continued to detect a focus point even if the focus search operation fails in focus acquisition enable operation, so that the focus search operation can be quickly carried out. The focus search operation is able to take advantage of a focus acquisition opportunity caused by external vibrations or the like. The focus acquisition enable operation can be repeated any number of times in a short period even if the focus acquisition enable operation results in failure.

Furthermore, according to the present invention, in the focus search operation, first a high-speed search operation is executed to obtain the focus acquisition enable range detection signal and/or the in-focus detection signal, and then a low-speed search operation is started when the focus acquisition range detection signal and/or the in-focus detection signal is obtained or a predetermined time after the focus acquisition range detection signal and/or the in-focus detection signal has been obtained. Accordingly, quick approach to the focus acquisition enable range is possible, the focus acquisition enable operation can be surely achieved, and a quick, highly reliable focus acquisition enable operation is possible.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will be more readily understood from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIGS. 1(a) through 1(d) are diagrams of assistance in explaining a known focus search operation;

FIG. 2 is a flow chart of a known focus search procedure relevant to the present invention;

FIGS. 3(a) through 3(c) are diagrams of assistance in explaining a known focus search operation;

FIG. 4 is a block diagram of a recording/reproducing apparatus provided with a focusing servo system in accordance with the present invention;

FIGS. 5(a) and 5(b) are diagrams of assistance in explaining a focus acquisition opportunity to be taken by a focusing servo system in a first embodiment according to the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a block diagram of the focusing servo system in the first embodiment;

FIGS. 7(a) through 7(b) are a flow chart of a focus search procedure to be executed by the focusing servo system in the first embodiment;

FIGS. 8(a) through 8(d) are diagrams of assistance in explaining the focus search operation of the focusing servo system in the first embodiment;

FIGS. 9(a) through 9(d) are diagrams of assistance in explaining the focus search operation of the focusing servo system in the first embodiment;

FIGS. 10(a) through 13(b) are a flow chart of a focus search procedure to be executed by a focusing servo system in a second embodiment according to the present invention;

FIGS. 11(a) through 11(d) are diagrams of assistance in explaining the focus search operation of the focusing servo system in the second embodiment;

FIG. 12 is a block diagram of a focusing servo system in a third embodiment according to the present invention;

FIGS. 13(a) through 13(b) are a flow chart of a focus search procedure to be executed by the focusing servo system in the third embodiment;

FIG. 14 is a diagram of assistance in explaining a first search operation of the focusing servo system in the third embodiment;

FIGS. 15(a) through 15(c) are diagrams of assistance in explaining the focus search operation of the focusing servo system in the third embodiment;

FIGS. 16(a) through 16(c) are diagrams of assistance in explaining the focus search operation of the focusing servo system in the third embodiment;

FIGS. 17(a) through 17(c) are diagrams of assistance in explaining the focus search operation of the focusing servo system in the third embodiment;

FIG. 18 is a diagram of assistance in explaining the first search operation of the focusing servo system in the third embodiment; and

FIGS. 19(a) and 19(b) are diagrams of assistance in explaining another first search operation of the focusing servo system in the third embodiment.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Focusing servo systems embodying the present invention will be described hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings as applied to an optical recording/reproducing apparatus for recording information on, or reproducing information from an optical recording medium. First, an optical recording/reproducing apparatus to which a focusing servo system in accordance with the disclosed invention will be described with reference to FIG. 4.

Referring to FIG. 4 showing, in a block diagram, an optical recording/reproducing apparatus for recording information on or reproducing information from a magnetooptic disk (hereinafter referred to simply as "disk"), incorporating a focusing servo system in accordance with the present invention, there are shown a disk 1 which is driven for rotation by a spindle motor 2, an optical head 3 which scans the disk 1 for recording/reproducing operation with a high-level laser beam to heat the track at the Curie temperature when recording information on the disk 1 and with a low-level laser beam to reproduce data from the reflected laser beam by using magnetic Kerr effect.

When the disk 1 is a read-only optical disk on which data is recorded in pits, such as a compact disk, the optical head 3 provides reproduced RF signals corresponding to the variation of the intensity of the reflected light caused by the pits. A magnetic recording operation, which will be described later, is not performed for a read-only optical disk.

The optical head 3 for reading data from the disk 1 comprises an optical system including a laser diode, i.e., a light source, a deflecting beam splitter and an objective lens 3a, and a detector for detecting the reflected laser beam. The objective lens 3a is supported so as to be movedby an actuator in radial directions, i.e., tracking directions, and in directions away from and toward the disk 1, i.e., focusing directions. Theoptical head 3 is mounted on a sled mechanism 5 capable of radially moving the optical head 3. A magnetic head 6 for applying a perpendicular magnetic field modulated according to data to the disk 1 and the optical head 3 are disposed opposing to each other on opposite sides of the disk 1.

In the reproducing mode, the optical head 3 picks up information from the disk 1 and gives the same to an RF amplifier 7. Then, the RF amplifier processes the input information to extract a reproduced RF signal, a tracking error signal (TE), a focus error signal (FE), absolute position information, address information, subcode information, information about focus acquisition enable range (FOK signal) and such. The reproduced RF signal is given to an encoder/decoder 8. The tracking error (TE) signal and the focus error signal (FE) are given to a servo circuit 9. The FOK signal is given to a system controller 11. The absolute position information is represented by pregrooves preformatted on the optical disk 1, i.e., wobbled track marks. The servo circuit 9 generates servo drive signals on the basis of the input signals including the tracking error signal (TE) and the focus error signal (FE), and a track jump command, a seek command and rotating speed information given thereto by the system controller 11. The actuator 4 and the sled mechanism 5 are controlled by the servo drive signals for focusing and tracking. The system controller 11 controls the spindle motor 2 for operation at a constant angular velocity (CAV) or a constant linear velocity (CLV). The encoder/decoder 8 processes the reproduced RF signal for decoding, such as EFM (eight-to-fourteen modulation) or CIRC. A memory controller 12 writes the decoded reproduced RF signal into a buffer memory 13, i.e., a RAM, for temporary storage. As the optical head 3 reads data from the disk 1, and the reproduced RF signal is transferred from the optical head 3 to the buffer memory 13 intermittently at a rate of 1.41 Mbit/sec.

The reproduced data stored in the buffer memory 13 is read at a transfer rate of 0.3 Mbit/sec and given to the encoder/decoder 14. Then, the reproduced data is processed for decoding for audio compression, the decoded reproduced signal is converted into corresponding analog signals by a D/A converter 150, and the analog signals are supplied, for example, as output an R-audio signal and an L-audio signal through a terminal 16 toan amplifier.

Thus, the recording/reproducing apparatus writes the data read from the disk 1 in the buffer memory 13 intermittently at a high rate for temporarystorage, reads the data at a low rate from the buffer memory 13 and provides output audio signals. Therefore, the output audio signals are notinterrupted and are provided continuously even if the tracking servo systemfails temporarily in correctly tracking the track.

The absolute position information obtained by decoding the signal representing the wobbled pregrooves or the recorded address information istransferred through the encoder/decoder 8 to the system controller 11, and then the system controller 11 carries out necessary control operations on the basis of the absolute position information or the address information.

Supposing that the disk 1 is a magnetooptic disk, when recording information signals on the disk 1, analog audio signals applied to a terminal 17 are converted into corresponding digital data by an AID converter 18. The digital data is subjected to audio compression encoding by the encoder/decoder 14. The compressed audio recording data is written in the buffer memory 13 for temporary storage by the memory controller 12,and then the compressed audio recording data is read from the buffer memory13 in predetermined timing and given to the encoder/decoder 8. Then, the encoder/decoder 8 processes the compressed audio recording data for CIRC or EFM and gives the encoded recording data to a magnetic head driving circuit 15. The magnetic head driving circuit 15 gives magnetic head drivesignals to the magnetic head 6 according to the encoded recording data to apply a perpendicular magnetic field of N- or S-pole to the disk 1, while the system controller 11 applies control signals to the optical head 3 to make the optical head 3 emit a laser beam at a recording level.

In FIG. 4, indicated at 19 is an input unit provided with a plurality of keys to be operated by the operator and at 20 is a display unit provided with, for example, a liquid crystal display.

A TOC (table of contents) including data areas in which data, such as thoseof music, is recorded and data for managing unrecorded areas are recorded on the disk 1. When the disk 1 is loaded into the recording/reproducing apparatus or immediately before starting recording or reproducing operation, the system controller 11 provides signals to make the servo circuit 9 drive the spindle motor 2 and the optical head 3 to read data stored in the TOC area. The TOC data is transferred through the RF amplifier 7 and the encoder/decoder 8 to the memory controller 12, and then the memory controller 12 stores the TOC data in a predetermined area in the buffer memory 13 to use the same for controlling operations for recording information on and reproducing information from the disk 1.

FIG. 6 shows a focusing servo system in a first embodiment according to thepresent invention incorporated into the foregoing recording/reproducing apparatus. FIG. 6 shows the optical head 3, the RF amplifier 7, the servo circuit 9 and the system controller 11 of FIG. 4 in detail. In FIG. 6, only the components of the focusing servo system are shown and the components of servo circuits for controlling the tracking system, the sledand the spindle are omitted.

The optical head 3 is provided with a four-division detector 3b (A, B, C and D) for detecting the reflected beam, a side spot detector 3c (E and F)for detecting side spots and a detector 3d (I and J) for detecting magnetooptic data and pit data. Detection signals provided by the detectors 3b, 3c and 3d are given to the RF amplifier 7. The RF amplifier 7 generates a tracking error signal on the basis of the detection signals SE and SF provided by the side spot detector 3c. The RF amplifier 7 processes the detection signals SA, SB, SC and SD provided by the four-division detector 3b for the calculation of {(SA+SD)-(SB+SC)} to generate a focus error signal EF (EF corresponds to FE in FIG. 4.) The RF amplifier 7 processes the detection signals SI and SJ provided by the detector 3d to generate a RF signal. When reading the data recordedon the disk 1, the RF amplifier 7 calculates (SI-SJ) if the data recorded on the disk 1 is magnetooptic data, or calculates (SI+SJ) if the data recorded on the disk 1 is pit data. The RF amplifier 7 adds up the detection signals provided by the four-division detector 3b to obtain a sum signal (SA+SB+SC+SD), compares the sum signal with a given threshold to generate a FOK signal (FIG. 1(c)) corresponding to the difference between the sum signal and the threshold and gives the FOK signal to the system controller 11.

The focus error signal EF is transferred through resistors R1 andR2 to a phase compensator 30 for phase compensation. The output signalof the phase compensator 30 is transferred through a resistor R3 to a differential amplifier 31, and the output signal of the differential amplifier 31 is given to a focusing driver 32. The output focusing drive signal of the focusing driver 32 is applied to the focusing coil of the actuator 4. A feedback resistor R4 is connected to the differential amplifier 31.

The foregoing signal loop is a focusing servo loop that functions for focusing servo operation when a switch SW1 is in the off-state. The feedback loop for focusing servo operation is opened when the switch SW1 is in the on-state to disable the focusing servo loop from the focusing servo operation. The focus error signal EF is applied also to the input of a comparator 33, and then the comparator 33 compares the focus error signal EF with a reference voltage Vref and gives a FZC signal to the system controller 11.

A current source 34 supplies a driving current for driving the objective lens 3a for movement toward the recording surface of the disk 1 for an up-search operation during the focus search operation. A current source 35supplies a driving current for driving the objective lens 3a for movement away from the recording surface of the disk 1 for down-search operation during the focus search operation. The current sources 34 and 35 are connected respectively through switches SW3 and SW4 to a time constant circuit consisting of a time constant capacitor C1 and a time constant resistor R7. The output of the time constant circuit isconnected to a differential amplifier 38, and the output of the differential amplifier 38 is transferred through resistors R6 and R5 to the differential amplifier 31. When a switch SW2 is in theoff-state, the driving currents supplied by the current sources 34 and 35 are applied through the focusing driver 32 to the focusing coil of the actuator 4. The switches SW1 to SW4 are controlled for on-off operation respectively by switch control signals Ssw1 to Ssw4 provided by the system controller 11.

The focusing servo system in this embodiment is comprised of the focusing servo circuit 9 shown in FIG. 6, and the control functions of the system controller 11 connected to the servo control circuit 9.

The principle of operation of the focusing servo systems in the first embodiment and a second embodiment according to the present invention willbe described hereinafter with reference to FIGS. 5(a) and 5(b). Search voltage having a predetermined waveform is applied to the focusing coil ofthe actuator 4 to supply a search current to the focusing coil so that objective lens is moved from a near position, i.e., a position nearest to the recording surface of the disk 1, toward a far position, i.e., a position farthest from the recording surface of the disk, during the focussearch operation. Practically, it often occurs, particularly, when the recording/reproducing apparatus is used on an automobile, that the objective lens is caused to move by external vibrations or shocks applied to the recording/reproducing apparatus regardless of the search voltage. Supposing that a search voltage having a waveform as shown in FIG. 5(a) isapplied to the focusing coil of the actuator 4, the position of the objective lens should vary as indicated by broken lines in FIG. 5(b). Nevertheless, it often occurs that the position of the objective lens is caused to vary randomly as indicated by an irregular continuous line in FIG. 5(b) by external vibrations or the like, which is most probable with an automotive disk player. Supposing that the position indicated by an alternate long and short dash line is the in-focus position of the objective lens, the moment when the objective lens passes the in-focus position is an opportunity for executing a focus acquisition enable operation. If the position of the objective lens varies randomly as shown in FIG. 5(b), the irregular continuous line crosses the alternate long andshort dash line many times and hence the opportunity for focus acquisition enable operation arises frequently regardless of the waveform of the search voltage. Therefore, when the focusing servo system is capable of carrying out the focus acquisition enable operation every time the opportunity arises, the focusing servo system is able to restart the focusacquisition enable operation immediately after the focus acquisition enableoperation has failed.

The focus search operation of the focusing servo system in the first embodiment will be described hereinafter with reference to FIGS. 7(a) to 7(b), 8(a) to 8(d) and 9(a) to 9(d).

FIGS. 7(a) to 7(b) show a control procedure to be executed by the system controller 11 to control the focusing servo circuit 9 for focus search operation. FIGS. 8(a) and 9(a), FIGS. 8(b) and 9(b), FIGS. 8(c) and 9(c), and FIGS. 8(d) and 9(d) show the waveforms of the search voltage, FOK signals, FZC signals, and variation of the position of the objective lens due to the combined effect of the search voltage and external vibrations, respectively.

Referring to FIGS. 7(ato 7(b) and 8(a) to 8(d), upon the start of the focussearch operation in step F100, the system controller 11 turns on the switchSW1 to open the focusing servo loop and turns off the switch SW2 for initialization in step F101 in a time period Δt1. In step F102, the switch SW3 is turned on to supply an up-search current fromthe current source 34 to the focusing coil of the actuator 4 for a time period Δt2 to move the objective lens 3a for an initial up-search operation.

Then, in step F103, the system controller 11 turns off the switch SW3,turns on the switch SW4 to supply a down-search current from the current source 35 to the focusing coil of the actuator 4 for a down-searchtime (Δtd in FIG. 5(a)) to move the objective lens 3a for a down-search operation, resets and starts a timer to time the down-search time.

During the down-search movement of the objective lens 3a, a loop of steps F104 and F105 for detecting the FOK signal and the FZC signal is repeated until FOK indicates that the position of the objective lens 3a coincide with the in-focus position. Upon the coincidence of the position of the objective lens 3a with the in-focus position, the system controller 11 turns off the switch SW1, turns on the switch SW2 to open the focusing servo loop and stops the timer in step F106. If FCZ indicates that the focus acquisition enable operation is completed successfully (time T4 in FIG. 8(a)), i.e., the response to query in step F106 is affirmative, the control procedure goes to step F115 to terminate the focusing servo operation.

FIGS. 9(a) to 9(d) show a mode of the focus search operation when the system controller 11 fails at time T4 in the focus acquisition enableoperation. The focus acquisition enable operation results in failure when FZC indicates that the focus acquisition enable operation could not position the objective lens 3a at the in-focus position or when the objective lens 3a is positioned at a false in-focus position.

Since the light beam projected on the disk 1 is reflected by both the surface of the recording film and the protective film underlying the recording film, the reflected light beam reflected by the protective film forms an S-curve having an amplitude smaller than an S-curve formed by thereflected light reflected by the recording film. However, if the RF amplifier 7 is provided with an AGC circuit, these S-curves are substantially the same in amplitude and, consequently, a false in-focus position is detected.

When the focus acquisition enable operation results in failure due to a faulty servo operation, the FOK signal goes LOW. When the servo operation is started for a false in-focus position, data cannot be read thereafter. The system controller 11 detects the state in which data reading is impossible from a monitor signal (GFS signal) provided by the encoder/decoder 8 and indicating irregularity in the frame synchronizing signal.

When it is determined at step F107 that the focus acquisition enable operation has resulted in failure, the procedure goes to step F108 to restart the down-search operation and the timer for timing the down-searchtime is restarted. Thus, the procedure does not return to step F101, but starts the focus search operation from the step F104 in which the focus acquisition enable operation is started.

Although the down-search operation is thus repeated until the in-focus position is detected, the objective lens 3a is caused to move by external vibrations or the like as explained in connection with FIGS. 5(a) and 5(b)regardless of the waveform of the search voltage. Therefore, it sometimes occurs that the objective lens 3a is moved to the in-focus position after the focus search operation has been started. For example, in FIGS. 9(a) to9(d), the down-search operation is started at time T20 and the objective lens 3a is at the in-focus position at time T21. Upon the detection of the in-focus state at time T21, the focus acquisition isexecuted again in step F106. If the focus acquisition enable operation is achieved successfully, i.e., the response to a query in step F107 is affirmative, the procedure goes to step F115 to terminate the focus searchoperation. Thus, even if focus acquisition enable operation has resulted infailure, the focus search operation is restarted from a state immediately before the detection of failure, and the focus acquisition enable operation is carried out again at an opportunity for focus acquisition enable operation that arises immediately after the restart of the focus search operation.

In case the time period Δtd for down-search operation has elapsed before the in-focus position is detected, i.e., if the response toa query in step F105 is affirmative, the up-search operation is started in step F109, in which the system controller 11 turns off the switch SW3, turns on the switch SW4 to supply an up-search current to the focusing coil of the actuator 4, and resets and starts a timer for timing an up-search time. Then, a loop of steps F110 and F111 is executed to detect the in-focus position until the in-focus position is detected. Upon the detection of the in-focus position, the timer is stopped and the focus acquisition enable operation is executed in step F112. If it is decided in step F113 that the focus acquisition enable operation is completed successfully, the procedure goes to step F115 to terminate the focus search operation. In case the focus acquisition enable operation is unsuccessful, the up-search operation is restarted in step F114 from the the state immediately before the start of the focus acquisition enable operation and the timer is restarted to repeat the loop of steps F110 and F111. In case the up-search time (the time Δtu in FIG. 5(a)) has elapsed before the in-focus position is detected, i.e., if the response to a query in step F11 is affirmative, the procedure returns to step F103 to start the down-search operation again.

Thus, the focusing servo system uses an opportunity for focus acquisition enable operation most effectively to repeat the focus acquisition enable operation in case the focus acquisition enable operation is unsuccessful. Supposing that the time necessary for detecting failure in focus acquisition enable operation is 5 msec, an opportunity for the focus acquisition enable operation that arises 5 msec or longer, which is far shorter than the time (1000 to 1200 msec) necessary to elapse before the next focus acquisition enable operation can be started in carrying out thefocus search operation previously described with reference to FIGS. 2 and 3(a) to 3(c), after the detection of failure in focus acquisition enable operation is the first opportunity for the next focus acquisition enable operation. Therefore, even if the focus acquisition enable operation is unsuccessful, the focus search operation can be repeated at comparatively short time intervals and hence interruption of the reproduced sound due todelay in the successful completion of focus search operation rarely occurs.

A focusing servo system in a second embodiment according to the present invention will be described hereinafter with reference to FIGS. 10(a) to 10(d) and 11(a) to 11(d).

The focusing servo system in the second embodiment is capable of achieving the focus search operation more quickly than the focusing servo system in the first embodiment. The focusing servo system in the second embodiment starts a focus search operation for detecting the in-focus position in theinitializing stage in a period between times T1 and T3 (FIG. 5(a)).

Referring to FIGS. 10(a) to 10(d), upon the start of the focus search operation in step F200, the detection of the in-focus position is executedin steps F202 and F203 on the basis of the FOK signal and the FZC signal. Once the in-focus position is detected, the focusing servo loop is closed to execute the focus acquisition enable operation in step F204. If it is decided in step F205 that the focus acquisition enable operation is completed successfully, the procedure goes to step F225 to terminate the focus search operation. If the focus acquisition enable operation is unsuccessful, the initialization is executed again in step F206. If the focus acquisition enable operation could not be achieved during initialization, an initial up-search operation is executed in step F207 todetect the in-focus position in steps F208 and F209. If the response to a query made in step F208 to see if the in-focus position is detected is affirmative, the focusing servo loop is closed to execute the focus acquisition enable operation in step F210. When it is decided in step F211that the focus acquisition enable operation is completed successfully, the procedure goes to step F225 to terminate the focus search operation. If the focus acquisition enable operation is unsuccessful, the initial up-search operation is restarted in step F212.

In some cases, the objective lens 3a is caused to pass the in-focus position by external vibrations or the like in the stage of initializationor initial up-search operation. Since the focusing servo system in the second embodiment is able to take such an opportunity for the execution ofthe focus acquisition enable operation, the focusing servo system is able to achieve the focus search operation very quickly when such an opportunity is taken. For example, as shown in FIGS. 11(a) to 11(d), the objective lens 3a is at the in-focus position at time T31 during initialization, and the focus acquisition enable operation is executed at time T31. Steps F213 to F224 in FIG. 10 are the same as steps F103 toF114 in FIG. 7 and hence the description thereof will be omitted.

The present invention can be embodied in various forms other than the firstand the second embodiment. For example, the focus acquisition enable operation may be executed only during the down-search operation or during the up-search operation. It is also possible to execute the conventional focus search operation in the initial stage and to execute step F103 and the following steps after a predetermined time has elapsed and the focus acquisition enable operation has resulted in failure during the predetermined time. It is also possible not to supply any search current to the focusing coil of the actuator 4 in order that the objective lens isnot moved positively to leave the movement of the objective lens 3a to the objective lens driving effect of external vibrations, and to execute the focus acquisition enable operation when the objective lens 3a is moved to the in-focus position by the external vibrations.

A focusing servo system in a third embodiment according to the present invention will be described hereinafter with reference to FIG. 12, in which parts like or corresponding to those of the focusing servo system inthe first embodiment shown in and previously described with reference to FIG. 6 are denoted by the same reference characters, and the illustration and the tracking servo circuit, the sled driving servo circuit and the spindle driving servo circuit of the focusing servo system in the third embodiment will be omitted.

Referring to FIG. 12, an optical head 3 is provided with a four-division detector 53b (A0, B0, C0 and D0) for detecting the reflected light beam and a side spot detector 53c (E0 and F0) for detecting a side spot. A RF amplifier 67 generates a tracking error signal on the basis of the output detection signals SE0 and SF0 of the side spot detector 53c. The RF amplifier 67 processes the output detection signals SA0, SB0, SC0 and SD0 of the four-division detector 53b for the calculation of {(SA0 +SD0)-(SB0 +SC0)} to generates a focus error signal EF. The RF amplifier 67 compares a signal (SA0 +SB0 +SC0 +SD0) obtained by processing the output detection signals SA0, SB0, SC0 and SD0 of the four-division detector 53b and a predetermined threshold to generate a FOK signal (FIGS. 1(a) to 1(d)), and gives the FOK signal to a system controller 50. The focus errorsignal EF is transferred through resistors R10 and R20 to a phase compensator 30 included in a servo circuit 59 for phase compensation. The output signal of the phase compensator 30 is transferredthrough a resistor R30 and a differential amplifier 31 to a focusing driver 32, and then a focusing drive signal provided by the focusing driver 32 is applied to the focusing coil of an actuator 4. Indicated at R40 is a feedback resistor connected to the differential amplifier 31. This signal loop serves as a focusing servo loop, which functions to enable a focusing servo operation when a switch SW10 is in the off-state. When the switch SW10 is turned on, a feedback loop for thefocusing servo loop is opened to stop the focusing servo operation. A comparator 33 compares the focus error signal EF and a reference voltage Vref and generates a FZC signal and gives the FZC signal to the system controller 50.

During a focus search operation, a current source 54 supplies a driving current for moving the objective lens 3a of the optical head 3 toward the recording surface of a disk 1 at a comparatively low velocity, a current source 55 supplies a driving current for moving the objective lens 3a toward the recording surface of the disk 1 at a comparatively high velocity, a current source 56 supplies a driving current for moving the objective lens 3a away from the recording surface of the disk 1 at a comparatively low velocity, and a current source 57 supplies a driving current for moving the objective lens 3a away from the recording surface of the disk 1 at a comparatively high velocity. The current sources 54, 55, 56 and 57 are connected respectively through switches SW30, SW40, SW50 and SW60 to a time constant circuit consisting of a time constant capacitor C10 and a time constant resistor R70. The output signal of the time constant circuit is transferred through a differential amplifier 38 and resistors R60 and R40 toa differential amplifier 31. While a switch SW20 is turned on, the driving current supplied by the current source 54, 55, 56 or 57 through a focusing driver 32 to the focusing coil of the actuator 4. The switches SW10 to SW60 are controlled for on-off operation by switch control signals Ssw10 to Ssw60 provided by the system controller50. One of the switches SW30 to SW60 is turned on selectively forfocus search operation.

The focusing servo system in the third embodiment is comprised of the focusing servo circuit 59 shown in FIG. 12 and the control functions of the system controller 50 for controlling the focusing servo circuit 59.

A focus search operation to be carried out by the focusing servo system in the third embodiment will be described hereinafter with reference to FIGS.13(a)-(b), 14, 15(a) to 15(c) and 16(a) to 16(c).

The focusing servo system executes the focus search operation selectively in either a high-speed search mode or a low-speed search mode. First, the focus search operation in the high-speed search mode will be described in connection with steps F301 to F309 of FIG. 13(a)-(b), and FIG. 14. In the following description, "up" is used to modify movement or direction towardthe recording surface of the disk 1 and "down" is used for modifying movement or direction away from the recording surface of the disk 1.

Referring to FIGS. 13(a)-(b), and 14, a focus search operation is started in step F301 to execute the first stage of a focus search procedure, then,in step F302, the system controller 50 turns on the switch SW10 to open the focusing servo loop, turns off the switch SW20 and turns on the switch SW60 to supply a current from the current source 57 to thefocusing coil of the actuator 4 to execute a high-speed down-search operation. Supposing that the focus search operation is started at time to(FIG. 14), the high-speed down-search operation is continued for 20 msec till time t1 in a loop of steps F302→F303→F304→F302. If the FOK signal goes HIGH in step F303, the second stage of the focus search procedure, which will be described later, is executed.

At time t1, i.e., the end of the time interval of 20 msec for the high-speed down search operation, the system controller 50 turns off the switch SW60 and turns on the switch SW40 to supply a current from the current source 55 to the focusing coil of the actuator for a high-speed up-search operation (F304, F305). The high-speed up-search operation is continued for 60 msec till time t2 in a loop from step F305 through steps F306 and F307 to step F305. If the FOK signal goes HIGHin step F306, the second stage of the focus search procedure is executed. At time t2, i.e., the end of the time interval of 60 msec for the high-speed up-search operation, the high-speed down-search operation is restarted (F307→F308→F302).

As shown in FIG. 14, in the first focus search procedure including steps F301 to F309, a 20 msec high-speed down-search operation, a 60 msec high-speed up-search operation, a 140 msec high-speed down-search operation, a 250 msec high-speed up-search operation, a 300 msec high-speed down-search operation and a 150 msec high-speed up-search operation are executed successively. If the FOK signal does not go HIGH until the end of the 150 msec high-speed up-search, i.e., till time t6 (FIG. 14), it is decided that the first stage of the focus search operation is abortive, and then the focus search operation is restarted (F308→F309→F301).

Steps F304 and F307 are described elliptically in FIGS. 13(a)-13(b); actually, the predetermined time in step F304 is 20 msec for the first high-speed down search operation, 140 msec for the second high-speed down-search operation or 300 msec for the third high-speed down-search operation, and the predetermined time in step F307 is 60 msec for the first high-speed up-search operation, 250 msec for the second high-speed up-search operation or 150 msec for the third high-speed up-search operation.

When the focus search operation is started again after the first stage of the focus search procedure has resulted in failure, the searching speed isreduced for a predetermined cycle of the focus search operation as shown inFIG. 18. For example, when the searching speed for the second stage of the focus searching procedure is S, the searching speed is reduced from 4S to 2S.

During the high-speed search operation in the first stage of the focus search procedure, actually, the FOK signal goes HIGH before time t6 (FIG. 14) where it is decided that the focus search operation is abortive,and the second stage of the focus search procedure is started (F311, F312; F306, F312). The searching speed for the second stage of the focus search procedure is lower than that for the first stage of the focus search procedure such that the objective lens can be surely positioned at the in-focus position; the searching speed for the second stage is approximately equal to the searching speed in the focus search operation carried out by the focusing servo circuit of FIG. 2.

Suppose that the FOK signal goes HIGH at time ts1, i.e., the response to a query in step F306 is affirmative, in a period between times t1 and t2 as shown in FIG. 15(b) during the high-speed up-search operation. Then, the system controller 50 starts (F312) the second stage of the focus search procedure. Actually, the high-speed up-search operation is continued for 60 msec between times ts1 and ts2 in step F310 after the FOK signal has gone HIGH. At time ts2, the systemcontroller 50 turns off the switch SW40 and turns on the switch SW50 in step F312 to supply a current from the current source 56 to the focusing coil of the actuator 4 for a low-speed down-search operation.The system controller 50 monitors the FOK signal and the FZC signal during the low-speed down-search operation. Upon the detection of the change of the FOK signal from LOW to HIGH and the fall of the FZC signal at time ts3 (FIGS. 15(b), 15(c)) in step F313 during the low-speed down-search operation, the system controller 50 turns off the switch SW10 and turns on the switch SW20 to terminate the focus search operation by closing the focusing servo loop and to activate the focusing servo in step F315. If, instead, the low-speed down-search operation is continued for 500 msec till time ts4 and the FOK signal does not go HIGH and the FZC signal does not fall during this period as shown in FIGS.16(a) and 16(c), it is decided (F314) that the focus search operation is abortive, the focus search operation is terminated, and then the focus search operation is started again from the beginning (F314→F309→F301).

The focus search operation in another mode will be described hereinafter. Suppose that the change of the FOK signal from LOW to HIGH is detected in step F303 at time ts2 as shown in FIGS. 17(a) and 17(b) in a period between times t4 and t5 (FIG. 14) during the high-speed down-search operation in the first stage of the focus search operation. Then, the system controller 50 starts (F312) the second stage of the focussearch operation. Prior to starting the second stage of the focus search operation, the switch SW60 is turned off and the switch SW40 is turned on at time ts1 to execute high-speed up-search operation in step F311 instead of the high-speed down-search operation as indicated by broken lines in FIG. 17(a). Then, 60 msec after the focus searching mode at time ts1 the switch SW40 is turned off and the switch SW50 is turned on at time ts2 in step F312 to supply a current to the focusing coil of the actuator 4 from the current source 56 for a low-speed down-search operation.

The FOK signal and the FZC signal are monitored (F313) during the low-speeddown-search operation. Upon the detection of the change of the FOK signal from LOW to HIGH and the fall of the FZC signal in step F313 as shown in FIGS. 17(b) and 17(c), the switch SW10 is turned off and the switch SW20 is turned on to terminate the focus search operation by closing the focusing servo loop and to activate the focusing servo in step F315. If the FOK signal does not go HIGH and the FZC signal does not fall duringthe low-speed down-search operation in the second stage in 500 msec, it is decided (F314) that the focus search operation is abortive, the focus search operation is terminated in step F309, and then the focus search procedure returns to step F301 to start the focus search operation again from the beginning. (F314→F309→F301).

Thus, the focus search operation is performed in the high-speed search modein the first stage and in the low-speed mode in the second stage to make a quick approach to the focusing servo enable range in the high-speed searchmode in the first stage and to ensure detecting the in-focus position in the low-speed search mode in the second stage and, consequently, the focussearch operation can be quickly and reliably achieved.

The focusing servo system in the third embodiment executes the high-speed up search operation for 60 msec in both the case in which the FOK signal goes HIGH during the high-speed up-search operation in the first stage andthe case in which the FOK signal goes HIGH during the high-speed down-search operation in the first stage before starting the low-speed down-search operation in the second stage, which is a suitable mode of operation for a magnetooptic disk recording/reproducing apparatus. When the recording surface of a magnetooptic disk is irradiated with a light beam, both the magnetooptic recording film and the lower protective film (middle layer) underlying the magnetooptic recording film reflect the light beam. Therefore, when the objective lens is located near the in-focus position with respect to the protective film, a false S-shaped focus error signal is produced. The amplitude of the false S-shaped focus error signal is smaller than that of a true S-shaped focus error signal provided on the basis of the light beam reflected by the magnetooptic recording film. When the RF amplifier 7 is provided with an AGC circuit, the respective amplitudes of the false S-shaped focus error signal and thetrue S-shaped focus error signal are substantially equal to each other, which entails erroneous in-focus position detection. Since the true S-shaped focus error signal is obtained first and such erroneous focus error detection can be avoided when the objective lens is moved from a position near the disk toward the disk, the focusing servo system in the third embodiment executes the down-search operation in the second stage. The focusing servo system may execute a low-speed up-search operation using the current source 54 in the second stage when the focusing servo system is used on an apparatus in which erroneous focus error detection will not occur.

The focusing servo system in the third embodiment may execute an up-search operation first instead of the 20 msec high-speed down search. However, since the objective lens is located in most cases near the in-focus position while the focusing coil of the actuator 4 is not energized, the probability of the FOK signal going HIGH in the earlier stage of the focusing operation is higher when an up-search operation is executed aftera short-time down-search operation has been executed.

Since the focusing servo system in the third embodiment expands the range of search gradually in the first stage, the objective lens will not collide against the disk and noise due to the collision of the objective lens against the disk will not be generated even if the focus search operation is performed with the objective lens located at the position nearest to or the farthest from the disk.

The focusing servo system may repeat the focus search operation in a fixed range of search as shown in FIG. 19(b) instead of gradually expanding the range of search as shown in FIG. 19(a).

The termination of the high-speed search operation in the first stage may be decided on the basis of the condition of the FZC signal or on the basisof both the conditions of the FOK signal and the FZC signal instead of the condition of the FOK signal. The focusing servo system in the third embodiment may terminate the first stage for the high-speed search mode and start the second stage for the low-speed search mode immediately afterthe detection of the FOK signal going HIGH instead of starting the second stage for the low-speed search mode 60 msec after the detection of the FOKsignal going HIGH in the first stage. For example, the second stage for thelow-search mode may be started upon the detection of the FOK signal going HIGH, and the low-speed up-search operation and the low-speed down-search operation may be repeated alternately in a range around a position where the objective lens is located at the detection of the FOK signal going HIGH.

Although the invention has been described as applied to the magnetooptic recording/reproducing apparatus, the present invention is applicable also to recording apparatus and reproducing apparatus that operate a compact disk or a disk-shaped recording medium.

Although the invention has been described in its preferred form with a certain degree of particularity, obviously many changes and variations arepossible therein. It is therefore to be understood that the present invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described hereinwithout departing from the scope and spirit thereof.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4368526 *Dec 23, 1980Jan 11, 1983Matsushita Electric Industrial Company, LimitedServo control system for optical system which focuses a converging light beam on a recording disc
US4544837 *Dec 23, 1982Oct 1, 1985Pioneer Electronic CorporationFocus servo control device for an optical system having an initial focus locking operation
US4998233 *Feb 12, 1988Mar 5, 1991International Business Machines CorporationAcquiring focus in optical systems using a focus error signal and a laser drive signal
US5060215 *Mar 23, 1989Oct 22, 1991Pioneer Electronic CorporationMethod and apparatus for leading-in focus servo by moving the objective lens toward the recording surface at two different speeds
US5162661 *Nov 5, 1990Nov 10, 1992Pioneer Electronic CorporationPosition detector for maintaining a fixed distance between two objects
US5187696 *Aug 28, 1989Feb 16, 1993Pioneer Electronic CorporationMethod for setting the loop gain in a focusing servo loop
US5202871 *Sep 25, 1991Apr 13, 1993Alpine Electronics, Inc.Focus servo control device
US5352881 *Apr 30, 1993Oct 4, 1994Olympus Optical Co., Ltd.Focus control device in optical recording and reproducing apparatus having an optical-beam-position judging device
US5459309 *Oct 19, 1993Oct 17, 1995International Business Machines CorporationFocus acquiring method and optical disk drive
JPH0276128A * Title not available
JPH04143930A * Title not available
JPS5792439A * Title not available
JPS60226029A * Title not available
WO1986005306A1 *Feb 21, 1986Sep 12, 1986Thomson Brandt GmbhProcess and circuit arrangement for focussing a light beam onto an optical recording medium
Non-Patent Citations
Reference
1 *Patent Abstracts of Japan, vol. 10, No. 93 (P 445), 10 Apr. 1986 & JP A 60 226 029 (Sony KK), 11 Nov. 1985.
2Patent Abstracts of Japan, vol. 10, No. 93 (P-445), 10 Apr. 1986 & JP-A-60 226 029 (Sony KK), 11 Nov. 1985.
3 *Patent Abstracts of Japan, vol. 14, No. 269 (P 1059), 11 Jun. 1990 & JP A 02 076 128 (Pioneer Electron Corp), 15 Mar. 1990.
4Patent Abstracts of Japan, vol. 14, No. 269 (P-1059), 11 Jun. 1990 & JP-A-02 076 128 (Pioneer Electron Corp), 15 Mar. 1990.
5 *Patent Abstracts of Japan, vol. 16, No. 424 (P 1415), 7 Sep. 1992 & JP A 04 143 930 (Alpine Electronics Inc.), 18 May 1992 & US A 5,202,871 (Yokota), 13 Apr. 1993.
6Patent Abstracts of Japan, vol. 16, No. 424 (P-1415), 7 Sep. 1992 & JP-A-04 143 930 (Alpine Electronics Inc.), 18 May 1992 & US-A 5,202,871 (Yokota), 13 Apr. 1993.
7 *Patent Astracts of Japan, vol. 6, No. 175 (P 141) (1053), 9 Sep. 1982 & JP A 57 092 439 (Matsushita Denki Sangyo KK), 9 Jun. 1982.
8Patent Astracts of Japan, vol. 6, No. 175 (P-141) (1053), 9 Sep. 1982 & JP-A-57 092 439 (Matsushita Denki Sangyo KK), 9 Jun. 1982.
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6014718 *Jul 28, 1997Jan 11, 2000Mitsumi Electric Co. Ltd.Computer system equipped with write-only optical disc drive being constructed separately from read-only optical disc drive
US6075760 *Jun 24, 1997Jun 13, 2000Sony CorporationSystem for performing focusing operation when recording and/or reproducing data on multilayered optical disks
US6163512 *Oct 15, 1997Dec 19, 2000Lg ElectronicsFocus servo apparatus for multi-layer disc and method for operating the same
US6243336 *Mar 16, 1998Jun 5, 2001Discovision AssociatesOptical disc system having servo motor and servo error detection assembly operated relative to monitored quad sum signal and focus capture method for use in same
US7257053 *Apr 15, 2002Aug 14, 2007Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.Optical disc apparatus
US7333412 *Jul 26, 2002Feb 19, 2008Sony CorporationOptical recording/reproducing apparatus, focusing method therefor, and optical disk recording medium
US7660223 *Mar 25, 2008Feb 9, 2010Hitachi, Ltd.Disc device
DE10016281C2 *Apr 4, 2000Aug 21, 2003Fujitsu LtdOptisches Speichergerät und Fokusservosteuerverfahren
Classifications
U.S. Classification369/44.27, G9B/7.044, 369/44.25, 369/44.29, 369/44.35
International ClassificationG11B11/105, G11B7/005, G11B7/085, G11B7/09
Cooperative ClassificationG11B7/0908, G11B7/005, G11B11/10576, G11B7/08511
European ClassificationG11B7/005, G11B11/105G3, G11B7/085A1
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jun 27, 2006FPExpired due to failure to pay maintenance fee
Effective date: 20060428
Nov 16, 2005REMIMaintenance fee reminder mailed
Sep 28, 2001FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
May 25, 1999CCCertificate of correction